VVAF’s other program currently concerns capacity building for demining in the country. This program is funded by grants from the Office of Weapons Removal and Abatement (PM/WRA) at the United States Department of State.
In April 2010, the Prime Minister approved the very first Vietnam National Mine Action Plan for the period of 2010-2025. Part of this plan charged the Vietnam Bomb and Mine Action Center (VBMAC) and Bomb/Mine Technology Center (BOMICEN) with coordinating mine removal activities in the country.
The goal for this project is to build capacity for VBMAC and BOMICEN, helping VBMAC to coordinate and manage the mine action in Vietnam through participating in a number of trainings taken by competent training institutions, taking study tours to model mine action centers & entities in other countries, participating in international mine action meetings and supporting Vietnam to conduct a clearance project. Most recently, VVAF helped Vietnamese government officials working on demining and landmine issues prepare for the Senior Mine Action Managers Training Course in Hanoi on September 28-29, 2011. The course touched on several topics, including priority setting, information management, and the international situation regarding landmines, ERW, and UXO. Also, in September, Vietnamese officials participated in a Land Release workshop in Cambodia. VVAF and GICHD are working on further technical workshops and activities through 2011 and beyond.
As part of this project and in addition to sending Vietnamese officials to the training courses in abroad that are sponsored fully or partially by the course organizers, VVAF, with the technical support from the Geneva International Centre for Humanitarian Demining (GICHD) has planned to conduct a number of in-country training courses with a view to address more audiences with less expense.
Also, VVAF planned a study mission as part of this work, which aims at applying the successful operation model of mine action Centers of other countries, in planning, coordinating, implementing, allocating resource and managing the humanitarian mine action activities in Vietnam.
VVAF has also worked to support BOMICEN in developing national mine action standards and adapting international protocols and technical standards to the Vietnamese contamination situation.
In coordination with these other objectives, and using information from the previously completed Unexploded Ordinance (UXO)/Landmine Impact Survey, VVAF has also Implemented a pilot UXO and Landmine/Explosive Remnants of War (ERW) Clearance Initiative, adapting and applying international protocols and technical standards in a UXO/landmine contaminated commune in central province of Vietnam, Ha Tinh. The project was completed in February 2011. In all, VVAF cleared 20 hectares of land in the Duc Lam commune, in the Duc Tho district of the Ha Tinh province.
Prior to the capacity building program, VVAF focused on demining efforts and conducting a survey on the impact of landmines and unexploded ordinances in Vietnam.
VVAF's demining activities worked with teams from the Ministry of Defense, totalling 65 personnel. The work cleared landmines and unexploded ordinances from the Hai Le Commune of the Quang Tri Province. The project helped to clear a total of 22 hectares of land in the commune. Once the project was completed, VVAF handed the cleared land back over to the local community leaders.
The survey work conducted by VVAF was conducted in two phases. Phase I interviewed more than 10,000 villagers, mapped more than 1,400 bomb and mine areas (BMA), conducted rapid technical response to the depth of 1 meter (detecting to the depth of 5m) on 400 hectares of land and handed over to the community for productive use again.
Following the successful implementation of the Phase I, under the authorization of the Prime Minister, the Ministry of Defense of Vietnam approved the Phase II expansion of the UXO/Landmine Impact Assessment and Rapid Technical Response project. With experiences gained and lessons learned from Phase I, Phase II aimed at surveying the remaining 214 communes of the 1st three provinces of Ha Tinh, Quang Binh, Quang Tri and expanding to 803 communes of 3 more provinces of Nghe An, Thua Thien Hue and Quang Ngai. After 9 months of field implementation and after the completion of Phase II, 837 communes were surveyed. This brings a total of 1,361 communes surveyed between the two phases of the project. By the end of Phase II field period, more than 33,000 people were interviewed, more than 3,200 BMA were mapped, and more than 1,200ha of land were cleared from bomb and mines by the project.